Sunday, April 4, 2010

Easter Carrot "Cake" Cupcakes

We don't celebrate Easter in my house for the religious aspect and my kiddo is too young to understand the Easter bunny, I don't let her eat candy and shes too young for hunting for Easter eggs ( which I am still confused on how this has to do with the real meaning of Easter) and hiding eggs for my husband to find is well, silly. But I am always up for baking something yummy for a holiday, even the ones I don't celebrate. I originally wanted to use my grass piping tip that I have been wanting to try and put Peeps and jelly beans on top but when I looked on Google Images and Flickr I think everyone that has ever made a cupcake has made those for Easter. That and I think Peeps are the most disgusting thing ever made and I don't think I would be want to be seen in public purchasing them. That and Cadbury Cream eggs. I don't know how any one can eat those. ha ha. I hadn't made my carrot cake cupcakes in a while and thought that these would be perfect for an Easter theme cupcake. Carrots and bunnies go together right? And carrot cake is just an excuse to eat a giant glob of super yummy cream cheese frosting. Actually I am convinced that cream cheese frosting is good on just about anything besides carrot cake/cupcakes and red velvet cake. I love it on graham crackers too.
 I have a few different recipes so I made one this year I haven't made in a few years. Its chock full of carrots and has pineapple in it to add to the sweetness. Without the frosting it tastes like a sweeter than normal muffin but who would want to eat it with out frosting?!?

I found these cute cupcake liners at my grocery store. I knew they wouldn't show up since the carrot cake is a darker cake but I got them anyways since I like tulips and I thought the chicks on the bottom were cute.

My recipe calls for 3 cups of shredded carrots and I can never remember how many carrots it takes so I bought a giant bunch

My recipe states " use the larger holes on a cheese grater" so being the brain dead pregnant woman that I am I start using my cheese grater. Umm hello?? this is going to take all day!

Screw the cheese grater.
One minute later perfectly grated carrots. I love my kitchen appliances. LOVE them

One thing I will hand grate is whole nutmeg, Partially because I grabbed whole nutmeg once instead of ground so its all I have on hand and partially because it smells amazing and freshly ground or grated spices really is the way to go. I used my microplane zester for this task
One of my recipes calls for chopped pecans and one calls for walnuts. Since I am saving half of these to bring to a friend in a few weeks I asked her what her preference was so walnuts are in these cupcakes this time.
A LOT of ingredients goes into this recipe but its worth it. Definitely a lot more prep than mixing and baking

Got Carrots?

Ready to bake

All done!!

I forgot to take step by step pics of my cream cheese frosting recipe. I wasn't thrilled with the taste and I was having a hard time figuring out what I did wrong since I make the same recipe every time.   I think I normally use Neufchatel cheese which is similar to cream cheese but better. At least I think so. But I grabbed regular cream cheese that was on sale. Even my husband said it didn't taste totally cream cheesy. Still good but not what I had made last time I made cream cheese frosting

I used a little leaf green wilton gel paste food coloring because I thought it would look nice with the fondant flowers I made

I also did smaller swirls than I normally do because I didn't make a ton of green ( saving half the batch to frost the rest of the cupcakes in two weeks) and I didn't feel like having to match the frosting if I ran out.

I added on green sugar sprinkles too.

I recently got some marguerite daisy plunger cutters and was planning on making some for these cupcakes. I had some leftover fondant that I have been trying to use up before I make a batch of marshmallow fondant. I think the wilton tastes gross and marshmallow is more tolerable but most people don't eat fondant anyways so it just gets thrown out so it doesn't matter which kind I use for decors like this. If I was going to cover a whole cake then I would make the marshmalllow fondant.

Some of the flowers weren't sticking to the plunger cutter and they would mash when I tried lifting with my gumpaste palette knife so I cut out more just so they would be easier to handle and not mush

Perfect. I was dropping them into my hand so I could "glue" with vodka and stick to the orange ones I had already cut out.

These are about 1/2 inch across. Tiny!

Once all glued together I painted them with vodka and sprinkled pixie disco dust on them so they would sparkle
Love the disco dust

A closeup of the bigger flower to see the disco dust

Closeup of the smaller one

All done!

Carrot "Cake" Cupcake Recipe
I have had this recipe for a while so I don't know who to credit since it has been saved in my recipe files
There is also a recipe with the cupcakes I don't make that one. Normal cream cheese frosting doesn't hold up to piping so I use a different recipe. 

The Best Ever Carrot Cake Cupcakes Recipe
Makes 24-28 cupcakes 


  • 4 eggs
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup apple sauce
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 8-oz. can of crushed pineapple, well drained
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract, divided
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Small pinch of ground cloves
  • 3 cups grated carrots, grate on larger side of cheese grater
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • For Frosting:
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 3 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Fresh coconut, shaved and toasted for garnish (optional)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl, beat together eggs, oil, apple sauce, sugars, pineapple and 2 teaspoons vanilla. Mix in flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and small pinch of ground cloves. Stir in carrots. Fold in pecans. Pour into muffin tin lined with beautiful paper or foil liners. Fill each liner 3/4 full. Bake in the preheated oven for 18-20 min. Let cupcakes cool completely. While cooling, prepare frosting.
In a medium bowl, combine butter, cream cheese, confectioners' sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Beat until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Pile the frosting high on the cooled cupcakes and garnish with the toasted coconut if desired.

Crusting Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe

Crusting Cream Cheese Buttercream

SERVES 1 , 4-5 cups (change servings and units)
Ingredients :
1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
1 lb cream cheese, softened
1 tablespoon clear vanilla extract
3 1/2 lbs sifted confectioners’ sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tbsp meringue powder
1.   Cream butter, shortening, cream cheese and extract. Gradually add confectioner’s sugar, meringue powder and salt. Beat on low speed until nice and creamy. If you want whiter icing, try to use butter without dyes available at most health food stores.
2.   This recipe is for a stiff consistency. For a thinner consistency, use 3 pounds of powdered sugar instead.
3.   If you want a very smooth cake, let the cake sit for 15 minutes after icing (longer for a thinner icing). Then using your spatula or fondant smoothing tool (this works best)and smooth it with a plain, non-patterned Viva paper towel. To do this, take your paper towel and lay it on your icing (after it crusts) and lightly rub over the paper towel with your hand, spatula or fondant smoothing tool to get a smooth surface. If the icing sticks to the paper towel, you didn’t let it “crust” long enough. Stick it in the fridge for 20 minutes or so to let it “crust” then try again. If you let it dry too long it will get harder to achieve the smooth look.
4.   This recipe will ice, fill and decorate an 8″ double layer cake with icing left over.
5. This recipe will also hold shape nicely when piped on to cupcakes and will make enough for 24-36 cupcakes depending on how much you use. If using fondant or gumpaste decors place them on soon after piping so the frosting doesn't set up and its too hard to press the decors into. 


  1. They look delightful! would it possible to get the same effect without the walnuts? I'm allergic to all of the nuts lol.

  2. Absolutely!! I have made them many times without nuts and it doesn't make a difference in taste or ratio of ingredients. You don't have to substitute anything in its place either! Enjoy!

  3. This recipe comes from Paula Deen! How do I know? I used it during Thanksgiving and everybody loved the carrot cake cupcakes.

    I realized that cream cheese recipe included doesnt hold up well at all. I added so much powdered sugar the cream cheese taste was gone lol

    I think I'm going to give your cream cheese frosting a try!